Ram 1500/2500/3500 Owners & Service Manuals

Ram 1500/2500/3500: Towing Tips

Before setting out on a trip, practice turning, stopping and backing the trailer up in an area away from heavy traffic.

Automatic Transmission

The "DRIVE" range can be selected when towing. The transmission controls include a drive strategy to avoid frequent shifting when towing. However, if frequent shifting does occur while in DRIVE, select "TOW/ HAUL" mode or select a lower gear range (using the Electronic Range Select (ERS) switches).

NOTE: Using "TOW/HAUL" mode or selecting a lower gear range (using the ERS switches) while operating the vehicle under heavy loading conditions will improve performance and extend transmission life by reducing excessive shifting and heat build up. This action will also provide better engine braking.

When towing a loaded trailer up steep grades at low speeds (20 mph [32 km/h] or below), holding your vehicle in first gear (using the ERS switches) can help to avoid transmission overheating.

If you regularly tow a trailer for more than 45 minutes of continuous operation, then change the automatic transmission fluid and filter(s) as specified for police, taxi, fleet, or frequent trailer towing. Refer to "Maintenance Schedule" for the proper maintenance intervals.

NOTE: Check the automatic transmission fluid level before towing (6-speed automatic only).

Tow/Haul Mode

To reduce potential for automatic transmission overheating, turn the "TOW/HAUL" feature ON when driving in hilly areas, or select a lower gear range (using the Electronic Range Select (ERS) switches) on more severe grades.

Electronic Speed Control - If Equipped

  • Do not use in hilly terrain or with heavy loads.
  • When using the speed control, if you experience speed drops greater than 10 mph (16 km/h), disengage until you can get back to cruising speed.
  • Use speed control in flat terrain and with light loads to maximize fuel efficiency.

Cooling System

To reduce potential for engine and transmission overheating, take the following actions:

City Driving

When stopped for short periods of time, shift the transmission into NEUTRAL and increase engine idle speed.

Highway Driving

Reduce speed.

Air Conditioning

Turn off temporarily.

Air Suspension System

To aid in attaching/detaching the trailer from the vehicle, the air suspension system can be used. Refer to "Air Suspension System" in "Starting And Operating" for further information.

NOTE: The vehicle must remain in the engine running position while attaching a trailer for proper leveling of the air suspension system.

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